Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Raul Ibanez signs with the Kansas City Royals

Before the Kansas City Royals dip their toe into the trade market for a bat, they will give a shot to a buy-low veteran and to a familiar face from many years ago.

As reported by the team’s Twitter account, the Royals have signed 42-year-old designated hitter Raul Ibanez.

The news hits today, and we could see Ibanez batting for the Royals as soon as tonight in the start of a divisional series against the Minnesota Twins.

Coming off a stellar season for the Seattle Mariners in 2013 in which he slugged .793 and blasted 29 home runs in a part-time role, Ibanez was nothing short of disastrous in his time with the Los Angeles Angels in 2014. Before the team let him go, Ibanez batted .157/.258/.265 in 190 plate appearances with just three home runs.

Ibanez might not have anything to offer the Royals, for whom he played from 2001-2003. But this is a reasonable low-risk, moderate reward move for a team that has reportedly been seeking modest moves to improve their offense. If Ibanez shows he still has some life left in his bat, then the Royals can roll with him and avoid giving up further assets in a trade. If he busts, the more likely scenario here, it does minimum harm to the Royals and they can return to the trade wires in pursuit of guys like Seth Smith and Marlon Byrd.

Ibanez will have a very part-time role, presumably, as he shares some designated hitter work with Billy Butler and pinch hits. It’s easy to scoff at his numbers this year, but given his production last season and the timing of the move, this seems like a reasonable shot for the Royals to take.

Check out the KC Royals schedule and choose a date to see Ibanez play!

Tags: Kansas City Royals Raul Ibanez

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